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PRIVATE Equity firms invested about $3.2 billion in 76 Indian companies during the quarter ended June, against 67 deals totalling $1.9 billion during the same period last year, according to a study by Venture Intelligence, a research service provider, focused on private equity and venture capital.

Another study by the same firm, in association with US-India Venture Capital Association, placed the venture capital investments in India during the quarter at $112 million across 19 deals, against $40 million during the same period last year.

The largest private equity investment reported during April-June ‘07 was the about $760-million investment raised by HDFC from Carlyle Group and Citigroup. It was followed by New York-based Avenue Capital Group's $500-million investment in SKIL Infrastructure.

The Information Technology and IT-Enabled Services (IT & ITES) industry retained its status as the favourite among PE investors during the latest quarter, accounting for over 25 deals worth over $550 million. Led by the HDFC investment, the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry emerged as the second most favourite industry among the PE investors accounting for about 15 deals worth almost $1.3 billion.

Other industries that attracted significant PE interest during the period included healthcare & life sciences, engineering & construction and shipping & logistics.

Mr. Arun Natarajan, CEO of Venture Intelligence said in a statement, “It was surprising to note how manufacturing, which has consistently been the second favourite destination for PE investments over the last several quarters, did not even figure among the top five industries during the latest quarter.”

In venture capital space, with 17 deals worth about $110 million, IT and ITES industry retained its status as the favourite among VC investors during April-June 2007, Venture Intelligence said.

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